These are the best Apple products for students in 2022

These are the best Apple products for students in 2022

Apple is mostly known for three characteristics — how strongly-built and premium its hardware is, how long its devices receive software support, and how inter-connected its ecosystem is. Once you’re in the walled garden, it’s very hard to give it up and switch to alternatives. From Macs, to both affordable iPads and Pro iPads, to other accessories — there’s an Apple product for everyone and almost every purpose. If you’re attending school, we have prepared for you a list of the best Apple products for students you can buy right now.

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Best value laptop: Apple MacBook Air M2 13-inch

The Macbook Air M2 magsafe charger

The Apple MacBook Air has been one of the most popular notebooks for a few years now. It’s light, capable, and — relatively speaking — affordable. This laptop offers a slim, premium design, unmatched by any of its rivals. It offers great durability and gets software updates for at least seven years usually. To sum up — it’s a future-proof investment.

Powered by the Apple M2 chip, the latest MacBook Air has a 13.6-inch LED-backlit display, with a 2560 x 1664 native resolution at 224 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors. Its screen also supports True Tone, making the colors a bit warmer in certain lighting conditions.

The M2 chip has an always-on processor, an eight-core CPU with four perform­ance cores and four efficiency cores, a eight-core GPU, and a 16 core Neural Engine. This turns it into a beast when compared to similarly priced laptops. It’s so capable and power-efficient that Apple actually removed the fans from its internals. The MacBook Air M2 simply doesn’t heat up with average use.

When it comes to battery life, it has a built-in 52.6-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. It lasts for up to 15 hours when browsing the web on a single charge, according to Apple. It comes with a 30W USB-C power adapter, and fully charging it doesn’t take too long.

The MacBook Air M2 includes two USB-C ports and — surprisingly — a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also reintroduces the MagSafe 3 charging port. So you will likely need to buy extra dongles or depend on cloud-based and other wireless solutions. Personally, I don’t really care about the lack of port variety. My work is mostly internet browser-based. I only use the MagSafe port to charge it, and the rest remain untouched whatsoever.

This excellent notebook comes with 8GB of RAM, but it’s upgradable to 24GB — if you need the extra memory. The base model has 256GB of SSD storage and can be upgraded to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB. So these configurations should be enough to fit your student needs, unless you’re studying rocket science, of course.

The Apple MacBook Air M2 comes with macOS Monterey pre-installed. Rest assured, though, you should be receiving future software updates for many years to come. What makes this laptop a great fit for students is its portability and lightweight build. You can just slide it in your backpack and get going. It has just enough power for an average student, and it has a reasonable price tag for the punch it packs. What’s even better is that you can even get it for cheaper from Apple if you’re eligible for the Student Discount.

The MacBook Air M2 is available in four colors — Silver, Starlight, Space Gray, and Midnight. So if you’re a fan of more vibrant colors, you will have to settle for a case or skin for your new laptop. The base model is priced at $1,199 in the US, without the Student Discount.

    This MacBook Air is powered by the Apple M2 chip, the most powerful and efficient chip from the company to date.

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Best value phone: Apple iPhone 12

iPhone 12 laying flat.

If you are looking for a phone that is relatively modern yet doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket, the Apple iPhone 12 is what you’re looking for. It’s a balance between affordable and capable. While it’s neither the latest nor the most affordable iPhone, it still shines in places where the most affordable or the latest don’t.

The iPhone 12 comes with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 pixels per inch. It supports HDR content, True Tone technology, wide color (P3), and Haptic Touch. Its brightness maxes out at 625 nits with typical use and 1200 nits when it comes to HDR.

This iPhone has an Apple A14 Bionic chip — 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. It’s not the latest and greatest SoC out there, but it gets the work done just fine. It has only 4GB of RAM, but keep in mind that iOS is an efficient mobile operating system, so it’s not as demanding as Android. You shouldn’t be facing any lags or glitches with average use.

This phone includes a dual 12MP rear camera system — Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. It supports up to 2x optical zoom and up to 5x digital zoom. It also includes Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. This allows you to take professional-looking shots. Portrait Lighting comes with six effects — Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and High‑Key Mono. Other camera features include Night mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, 4K video recording, stereo video recording, and more. Its 12MP front camera includes additional sensors that enable Face ID. This allows you to also use it for Animoji and Memoji.

The iPhone 12 has a built-in 2,815mAh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. It lasts for up to 50 hours when listening to audio or 10 hours when streaming video on a single charge, according to Apple. So it should last you a full school day if you’re not using it for heavy, intensive tasks.

The Apple iPhone 12 is a great device for those who want to take advantage of the slim bezels and Face ID but also don’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s available in Black, White, Red, Green, Blue, and Purple finishes. If none of the colors match your taste, you might want to look into buying a case. If not for the vibrant colors, then at least buy it for the protection of this delicate glass slab. You can buy the base model for $699 in the US before the Student Discount.

    The iPhone 12 is a relatively affordable phone that is powerful enough for most students.

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Best budget phone: Apple iPhone SE 3

iPhone SE 2022

If you are looking for a phone that is both affordable and includes the latest mobile chip from the Cupertino-based company, then the Apple iPhone SE 3 is for you. While it’s the latest in the iPhone SE lineup, it still features some dated characteristics — including its chassis. This phone is basically an iPhone 8 with updated hardware. It supports 5G networks and includes the A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13 lineup.

The iPhone SE 3 comes with a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, with a 1334 x 750-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch. It supports True Tone technology and Haptic Touch but lacks HDR compatibility. Its brightness maxes out at only 625 nits with typical use.

This iPhone has an Apple A15 Bionic chip — 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. It’s the latest and greatest mobile SoC from Apple, and it’ll handle your tasks without any lags. It has only 4GB of RAM, but keep in mind that iOS is an efficient mobile operating system, so it’s not as demanding as Android. You shouldn’t be facing any glitches with average use.

This phone includes a dual 12MP Wide rear camera. It supports up to 5x digital zoom and includes Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. This allows you to take professional-looking shots. Portrait Lighting comes with six effects — Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and High‑Key Mono. Other camera features include Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, 4K video recording, stereo video recording, and more. Its 7MP front camera doesn’t support Face ID, but it’s capable of shooting Portrait mode selfies nonetheless.

The iPhone SE 3 has a built-in 2,018mAh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. It lasts for up to 50 hours when listening to audio or 10 hours when streaming video on a single charge, according to Apple. So it should last you a full school day if you’re not using it for heavy, intensive tasks.

The Apple iPhone SE 3 is a great device for those who want to take advantage of 5G and the fastest mobile chip from Apple while sacrificing the design, camera, and display. It’s available in Midnight, Starlight, and Red finishes only. If none of these limited colors match your taste, you might want to look into buying a case. If not for the vibrant colors, then at least buy it for the protection of this delicate glass slab. You can buy the base model for $429 in the US before the Student Discount.

    The iPhone SE 3 is an affordable phone that is mighty, supports 5G, but lacks the thin bezels and Face ID.

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Best value earphones: Apple AirPods 3

Apple released the AirPods 3 back in October 2021. They introduce a new exterior design that looks more futuristic than that of the previous-gen models. They now look like a blend between the original AirPods and the AirPods Pro. However, it’s worth noting that these AirPods — unlike the Pro model — don’t support Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). They do bring new features to the table, though. These include support for Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking. So when you are listening to or watching compatible content and move your head, the audio will change accordingly.

When it comes to microphones and sensors, the AirPods 3 include dual beam-forming microphones, inward-facing microphones, skin-detect sensor, motion-detecting accelerometer, speech-detecting accelerometer, and force sensor. These components work together to support features like Spatial Audio, Hey Siri, ear detection, and more.

The AirPods 3 have an IPX4 water and sweat resistance, so you can use them when you hit the gym after school without worrying about the potential damage caused by sweat. Their batteries last up to 6 hours of listening time with a single charge. On a fully charged case, you can get up to 30 hours of listening time. And they only need five minutes in the case to get around one hour of listening time. To charge the case, you can either use a Lightning cable, such as the one you use to charge your iPhone or place the case on a MagSafe or Qi wireless charging mat.

The AirPods 3 box includes a Lightning to USB-C cable, documentation, in addition to the AirPods 3 and their MagSafe wireless charging case, obviously. For those who aren’t fans of over-the-ear headphones, the AirPods 3 are perfect if they don’t need ANC. They offer the best sound quality and most of the features that in-ear true wireless earbuds can offer nowadays. They are truly magical little pieces of tech. They’re available for $179 in the US and come in one color only — White.

    The Apple AirPods 3 support Spatial Audio and ear detection. They're also water and sweat resistant.

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Best value tablet: Apple iPad Air 5 10.9-inch

If you like the concept of an iPad replacing your laptop, but the affordable iPad 9 doesn’t offer enough power for you, and the iPad Pro M1 is too expensive for your budget, then you may want to look into the Apple iPad Air 5. It’s a significant upgrade when compared to the affordable iPad 9, and it is powered by the same M1 chip included in the iPad Pro. So it’s one of the most powerful mid-range tablets you can get for this price tag.

The Apple iPad Air 5 comes with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with a 2360 x 1640 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch. It supports True Tone display — which makes colors a bit warmer in certain lighting conditions — and the Apple Pencil 2. If you’re studying an art major, this might be a great pick for you.

This iPad is powered by the Apple M1 chip. When it comes to memory and storage, the iPad Air has 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB of SSD. While there aren’t a lot of configurations here, it’s still more than enough for an average student looking for a mid-range device.

The iPad Air has an edge-to-edge display and no physical home button, thanks to the recent redesign. Touch ID has been moved to the power button. So while it might look like an iPad Pro, it still doesn’t support Face ID because it lacks a TrueDepth camera system. It also offers a cellular model, so you can study on the go, while camping, or commuting.

This slab has a built-in 28.6-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that you can charge through a USB-C cable. It can last up to 10 hours when surfing the web on Wi-Fi or watching video, according to Apple. So that’s a full day of studying without having to worry about running out of juice.

The Apple iPad Air 5 10.9-inch is available for $599 for the base model in the US, without the Student Discount. It’s offered in five colorful finishes — Space Gray, Starlight, Pink, Purple, and Blue. Apple Pencil 2, keyboard cases, and other accessories are sold separately.

    The Apple iPad Air 5 is a mid-range tablet that balances between budget and power. It's powered by the M1 chip and comes in five different colors.

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Best budget tablet: Apple iPad 9 10.2-inch

ipad 9 e

If you are looking for a product that costs only a third of the Apple MacBook Air M1, but are willing to sacrifice macOS and the privileges of a real computer, then the Apple iPad 9 is what you’re looking for. While it’s nowhere as powerful as the popular notebook, it still packs enough power for a lot of students. If your studies don’t require advanced PC software that isn’t supported on iPadOS, and you only need to do some reading, writing, presenting, and/or doodling, then this iPad is the right device for you.

The affordable Apple iPad 9 comes with a 10.2-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch Retina display, with a 2160 x 1620 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch. It supports the Apple Pencil 1, taking notes and illustrating to the next level. While the Apple Pencil is sold separately, it’s a good investment for those majoring in relevant fields. If you’re looking to turn the iPad into a laptop replacement, then we advise you to buy a keyboard case to make typing an easier task.

This iPad has an Apple A13 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture. It’s the same chip Apple included in the iPhone 11 lineup and the iPhone SE 2. It’s not the latest and greatest, but it gets work done. It has only 3GB of RAM, but keep in mind that iPadOS is a mobile operating system, so it’s not as demanding as macOS.

The latest affordable tablet from Apple includes an upgraded 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with a 122° field of view. This makes you attend online classes and other video calls like a pro. The quality is crystal clear, and its focus follows you as you move around the room. It supports 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, in addition to Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p).

What makes the iPad stand out — when compared to the Mac — is cellular support. Apart from the multi-touch display that supports Apple Pencil 1, LTE distinguishes the iPad. You can attend online classes and study on the go, without having to worry about finding a Wi-Fi network. Do you want to study in the middle of a deserted forest? You’ve got this!

The iPad 9 has a built-in 32.4 watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. It lasts for up to 10 hours when browsing the web through Wi-Fi on a single charge, according to Apple. So it should last you a full school day if you’re not using it for heavy, intensive tasks.

The Apple iPad 9 is a great device for light use. If you’re a student who’s looking for a lightweight, portable, and affordable tablet for your note-taking, then this device is what you’re looking for. It’s available in Silver and Space Gray finishes, so you might want to look into buying a case. If not for the vibrant colors, then at least buy it for the protection of this delicate glass slab. You can buy the base Wi-Fi-only model for $329 in the US before the Student Discount.

    The iPad 9 is an affordable tablet that suits students with limited power needs.

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Best tablet keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard

The Magic Keyboard is one of the best options for iPad users who are deeply tied into Apple’s ecosystem. That’s because you can use it with both your iPad and Mac, and it’s fully integrated into iPadOS and macOS. That’s not to mention that it works with newer iOS versions, too. This keyboard features a minimalistic, simple design that matches the rest of the Apple products. When it comes to battery life, this keyboard will last you for around a month on a single charge. It comes with a USB-C to Lightning woven cable so you can plug into your Mac or a charging brick when it runs out of juice. It costs a mere $99 in the US, and it offers no color options.

    The Apple Magic Keyboard is fully integrated into Apple's operating systems and lasts for around a month on a single charge.

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Best tracking device: Apple AirTag

An AirTags in the hand

Have you ever misplaced your backpack at school? Maybe your pencil case or wallet? That should be a thing of the past at this point. Apple introduced the AirTag back in April as a Find My-enabled tracking device. AirTags are great for students because they’re very affordable, can notify them when they leave something behind at school, and can help them locate the exact whereabouts of whatever tagged items they lose.

Apple and third parties sell AirTag accessories so you can safely attach one to your backpack. Alternatively, you could slide it in one of its pockets, but that would make finding it harder if a person hears it beeping. Either way, having an AirTag in one way or another increases your chances of finding what you’re looking for.

When it comes to its battery life, Apple includes a replaceable battery that should last for a year or so. Users can easily change it by themselves, and their iPhones notify them when it’s time to replace it. So battery life isn’t something you should worry about at all.

AirTags are water and dust resistant with a rating of IP67 — that’s up to one meter immersion for no longer than 30 minutes. So if you drop your AirTag in a puddle or it rains on it, it should be fine. However, it’s worth mentioning that water resistance decreases over time, so don’t expect it to remain as resistant down the road.

AirTags have an advantage over Tile and other rivals because it supports the Find My network. So almost every single active Apple device can be used to help find your lost item, through the expanding network. As long as an area is inhabited and has Apple users walking around, you should be able to locate an AirTag.

If you have an iPhone 11 or later, you can use Precision Finding. This features takes advantage of the U1 chips, in both the AirTag and your iPhone, to help you pinpoint the exact location of the former. A screen displays an arrow that you can follow around, with an estimate of the distance separating you.

An AirTag has a built-in speaker, so it can beep to help you or others find it. It also has privacy-focused features to make sure it’s not abused. If an AirTag detects that it’s following a person around that isn’t its owner for a certain period of time, it’ll scream for help. This is a very welcome anti-stalking measure from Apple.

AirTags are sold in either a pack of one or a (discounted) pack of four. They’re available in one color only — White — but Apple and other retailers sell plenty of colorful accessories if you want to make it more vibrant. One AirTag costs $29 in the US, while a pack of four costs $99. So if you buy a pack of four, you would be saving $17, compared to buying four AirTags individually.